Bloating is something most of us will experience either on a chronic level or sporadically. It seems that with certain meals or food groups the stomach can respond by swelling up, making us feel drowsy and groggy or just generally stinking the place out and if that’s not enough well bloating just doesn’t make us feel all that sexy either.
But what’s really happening? And why? Well despite what people assume its most likely none of the following
-Sweeteners or artificial soft drinks
Now I know this contradicts everything you may have heard regarding bloating and don’t get me wrong these things may cause bloating on an individual level for example if you are gluten intolerant but overall we can’t generalise these things to be the cause.
Bloating affects us all very differently and no two digestive systems are the same. If you are experiencing very painful bloating with way too much bathroom time and a very swollen stomach then I suggest speaking with your doctor as this may be something a little more complex. If you however are just suffering now and then with a swollen stomach and feeling a bit rough after eating certain meals then its more than likely to be one of the 5 issues below:
1- You are eating the wrong foods
For whatever reasons some foods just don’t agree with certain people. Don’t buy into the whole idea that one type of food is bad for all of us. I for one cannot handle more than about 300g sweet potato in the day, it causes me a painful stomach however I could eat a loaf of bread and have no consequence. I therefore blame the ‘healthy’ sweet potato for my issues.
If you are starting to see that after a certain meal or food you are struggling and don’t feel too good then make sure to trial removing this food out of your diet and see if you start to feel better. Even if this food is considered healthy, it may not be healthy for you and your digestive system.
2- You are eating too much
This is a sensitive topic but needs addressing. Nobody likes to be told they are eating too much and they definitely don’t like that idea as a cause for their bloating however your stomach has a set capacity for food and therefore pushing that capacities limits will induce a stuck out belly and the digestive struggle can cause lethargy and grogginess.
Those of you who are in a calorie deficit may experience this too. I have been on diets before and to cure the hunger craving I have overloaded green veg to fill the stomach. Green veg is low cal and thus meaning you can eat a lot while on a diet but that will still affect the stomach if you are overloading it.
My advice is to build meals that satisfy you but don’t have you splitting at the seams.
3- You are short on fibre
For digestion fibre is an absolute gem or can be when dosed up right. It’s the perfect tool for pushing food through the digestive tract.
If you are low on fibre then you may start to feel a little bunged up (hence the bloating).
A good guideline is to have 8-12 grams of fibre per every 1,000 kcal that you eat, so if you are on 2,000kcal a day double it etc.
4- You are too high on fibre
As great as fibre can be you can have too much of a good thing. Your body doesn’t digest fibre which is why its so great at transporting food through the tract but if you are eating too much then all that undigested food sat in the tract will eventually start to slow things down and again you may feel bulky and little depleted.
5- You are under hydrated
With increased fibre intake comes the need for extra water. Fibre soaks up water and therefore high fibre and low water intake can cause that sluggish bunged up feeling.
Recommendations for water intake can be all over the place. There are no real set guidelines as every individual will require different intakes based on numerous variables.
I advise you to drink before getting too thirsty, sip throughout the day, keep urine as clear as you can or as close to clear as you can and drink more around your workouts.
I have listed above some of the main reasons people may suffer from bloating, these are definitely something I come across often but unfortunately other variable may apply and sometime it’s a little more complex. Menstrual cycles, stress and more can all be caused of such an issue.
My advice is start to trial these areas and see if making a few changes based on the info above helps the bloating. Take a few days to a week removing suspicious food groups or changing fibre intake. If you still struggle then it may be a little more complex.
Feel free to message some questions across 😊